Or should that be Meat Terrace?
It’s been a few months since we went to the opening night of G Wadley. Late February, black as night, was the perfect month to enjoy its flickering Prohibition-era stylings and comforting food offerings. And then it became summer (sort of) and we realized we hadn’t returned. So we were seduced by a call inviting us to try the new alfresco dining terrace.
We were lucky with a rare balmy evening: evening sun lit up the half dozen olive trees, the smell of herbs drifted in the air, and French doors from the main dining room lay open, leaking Twenties jazz. It was rather quiet, but then again England were playing a match and the downstairs garden was packed with probably the politest footie crowd you could muster.
After perfectly mixed Negronis (of course), we enjoyed the last of the season’s asparagus chargrilled, its woodiness lifted by a buttery hollandaise, and salmon smoked in-house for 8-10 hours, with a texture delightfully firm and flavoursome.
Once again, a resplendent Andre, G Wadley’s head waiter, talked us through the current meats on offer, uncooked: this time he was undeniably more confident than in February, outlining the various pleasures of sirloin, fillet, veal, rump and his personal favourite, the fore-rib.
We settled for rare sirloin and, as it is meant to be summer after all, a tuna steak with nicoise ‘garnish’ (we haven’t had one of them since Mrs Kentishtowner’s heyday at The Ivy).
The food arrived as the sun was sinking through the clouds. And the meal was like the best evening picnic ever, or, more romantically, a soiree at our imagined Tuscan hide-away: meltingly tender pink tuna, eggs with anchovy, heritage potato salad, some skinny fries…and rare sirloin with the flavour you’d expect from it being hung for 28 days. Lashings of bearnaise too. of course. Not to mention a chilled Pinot Noir from the Loire.
Desserts were a relief, smaller than we feared. But the flavours sang: the crunch and cream of an Eton Mess; a rich yet zingy lemon and rhubarb posset.
We marvelled at how The Stag manage to run a vast beer garden, pub and restaurant with dining terrace. It’s a massive operation. And on a midweek evening we have to say it felt pretty special.
We’ve teamed up with G Wadley’s Meat Room to offer Kentishtowner readers a carafe of house wine per booking, available any time Mon – Friday (inclusive) until July 31st.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7722 2646 and don’t forget to quote us. The Stag, 67 Fleet Road, NW3. Mains from £14.